Trump unveils American strategy' with 'leadership role for India'

US President Donald Trump has said Washington will support a "leadership role" for India in the "broader" Indo-Pacific region as he unveiled his "America First National Strategy".

The blueprint for US national security also warned of rising threats from an emboldened Russia and China as well as from "rogue governments" like North Korea and Iran. It also spoke about making Pakistan speed up its counter-terrorism efforts.

The document said: "We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region."

Turning to Islamabad, Trump said: "We will press Pakistan to intensify its counterterrorism efforts, since no partnership can survive a country's support for militants and terrorists who target a partner's own service members and officials.

"The US will also encourage Pakistan to continue demonstrating that it is a responsible steward of its nuclear assets."

In a year-end, campaign-style speech in central Washington on Monday, the President emphasised that the US had been cheated and taken advantage of abroad while its citizens were ill-served at home -- a situation he said his security plan would seek to reverse.

Trump's national security strategy has four main organising principles: protecting the American homeland, protecting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing US influence.

Trump's campaign theme of "America First" formed the foundation of his remarks. "A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad," Trump said.

"A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war. A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them."

Trump's all-encompassing strategy plan looked for allies to face what he sees as "an extraordinarily dangerous world, filled with a wide range of threats".

He boasted about his own achievements and reiterated that Americans have been left behind as a result of decisions made by past administrations, including on immigration, the Iran nuclear deal and trade pacts.

He said that past administrations didn't now how to cut trade deals.

"Our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations but sent thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs to those other countries," he said.

A significant part of his strategic document that he presented at an auditorium was devoted to threats from China which he framed as "a geopolitical competition between free and repressive visions of world order is taking place in the Indo-Pacific region".

"China is using economic inducements and penalties, influence operations, and implied military threats to persuade other states to heed its political and security agenda," he said.

In this theatre, he said: "We welcome India's emergence as a leading global power and stronger strategic and defense partner. We will seek to increase quadrilateral cooperation with Japan, Australia and India."

Trump called Russia and China "rival powers" who "seek to challenge American influence, values and wealth," but stopped short of calling out Moscow for its election meddling.

"They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.

"We will attempt to build a great partnership with those and other countries, but in a manner that always protects our national interest," Trump said, recounting a conversation he held with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday about shared US intelligence that helped thwart a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg.

The President said intellectual property theft would be targeted, a clear warning to China which American companies have complained about for years. "We will no longer tolerate trading abuse."

Trump boasted about his decision to withdraw from the "very expensive and unfair Paris climate accord" that President Barack Obama agreed to.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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